Day 1: Welcome to Bangkok. Welcome to the fabled "Land of Smiles". Upon touching down a Mercedes will whisk you from the airport to your stylish room at the legendary Oriental Hotel, one of Asia’s most renowned properties. During check-in you’ll receive a personalized "Adventure Kit" overflowing with handy information, neat tidbits and your very own mobile phone. Sleeping: The Oriental. No meals included into itinerary.
Day 2: Grand Palace, Rocketboats – welcome dinner. Enjoy today seeing the kingdom’s premier temple Wat Phra Kaew at the stunning Grand Palace, take a scrumptious lunch along the famed Chao Phraya River, then explore small, snaking canals in a thrilling "rocketboat". Tonight, enjoy a private welcome dinner hosted by Smiling Albino co-founders Daniel and Scott as well as another expert host at one of the city’s finest restaurants. We’ll orient you to the "Land of Smiles" and your epic expedition. All meals are included.
Day 3: Chinatown Walking Trip, Jim Thompson’s House. Our most knowledgeable guide will lead the group on an insightful walking tour of Chinatown’s many alleys, narrow streets, incense-filled Taoist-Confucian-Buddhist shrines, historic civil architecture and market culture. Then it’s off to Jim Thompson’s House to learn about this legendary character and how he made Thai silk world famous. Sleeping: The Oriental. No meals included.
Day 4: To Chiang Mai. A morning flight aboard Thai Airways International takes you to Chiang Mai, home of the kingdom’s famed "Lanna" (northern Thai) architecture and traditions. No hotel better exemplifies Lanna style than the stunning Rachamankha, your home for the next two nights. Enjoy the afternoon at your leisure then join Joe for a sunset visit to the city’s most important temple, Wat Phra That Doi Suthep. Perfect lighting, virtually no crowds and the consummate host come together to create the ideal mood – what this trip is all about. Savor a catered Thai dinner while boating along the Ping River, with Joe leading a topical conversation. Sleeping: The Rachamankha. Meals: (B) and (D).
Day 5: Chiang Mai with Joe. This is a true "insider’s" day, where Joe will introduce you to his favorite Lanna temples, lesser-known restaurants and other cultural sites. Sleeping: The Rachamankha. Meals: (B) and (L).
Day 6: Joe’s Stylish Chiang Mai. Enjoy the morning and early afternoon exploring the northern capital’s better galleries, antique emporiums, and design studios. We’ll then board our private vans and drive to the charming Mekong riverbank town of Chiang Khong, a border crossing point into Laos, in preparation for the following day’s river voyage. Tonight you’ll enjoy quaint accommodations right on the Mekong River. Sleeping: Namkhong Riverside. All meals are included.
Day 7: The Mighty Mekong. In the morning we’ll board the very cool, very stylish Luang Say for an enchanting two-day journey down the world-famous Mekong River. Sit back in style as you pass quaint hilltribe villages and enjoy the reflective tranquility of river life. We’ll overnight at Pak Beng, Laos, enjoying a spectacular dinner and charismatic lodgings at the beautiful Luang Say Lodge. Sleeping: Luang Say Lodge. All meals are included.
Day 8: To Luang Prabang. Today watch it all go by from the deck of the boat as we make our way downriver to the UNESCO World Heritage city of Luang Prabang. Upon arrival you’ll take up residence at the former home of Prince Souvannaphoum, the gorgeous Maison Souvannaphoum. Enjoy the night at your leisure. Sleeping: Maison Souvannaphoum, Luang Prabang, Laos. Meals: (B) and (L).
Day 9: Charming Ins’ and Outs’. We’ll make use of simple bicycles to get a true feeling for the town, visit two major temples and the National Museum. A local expert will lead an art and architecture discussion at two primary attractions. Tonight it’s sunset drinks overlooking the Mekong River from a friend’s organic herb garden followed by a royal Lao-style dinner hosted by one of the area’s best-known characters. Sleeping: Maison Souvannaphoum. All meals are included.
Day 10: Greater Highlights. Wake up early and take in morning alms with the monks as they wander the town’s streets, giving out blessings and receiving their food for the day. Next it’s time for your own breakfast at the beautiful Maison Souvannaphoum before a big day exploring. In the late morning we’ll board a longtail boat to "Pak Ou", famous for its Buddha-filled caves, enjoy a short walk and tasty riverside lunch. Tonight enjoy another Mekong sundown and the night at your leisure. For those with some gas still in the tank, be sure to check out the charming Night Market. Sleeping: Maison Souvannaphoum. Meals: (B) and (L).
Day 11: To Cambodia. Two flights take us from one world to another, settling in at Siem Reap, Cambodia, the jumping-off point for exploring magnificent Angkor Wat. As a Wonder of the World, Angkor is an absolute ‘must see’ and you’ll do it in exquisite style while staying at the ultra-chic Hotel de la Paix, a true modern wonder. Tonight the country’s premier expert and host, Nick Ray, author of Lonely Planet’s Cambodia will host a traditional Khmer meal at the renowned ‘Khmer Kitchen’ and lead a topical discussion. Sleeping: Hotel de la Paix, Siem Reap, Cambodia. All meals are included.
Day 12: Amazing Angkor. You’ll spend the day exploring Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom and Ta Prohm with Nick at your side explaining these amazing complexes. You simply won’t believe the scale and scope of these truly amazing structures. Tonight is yours to relax and reflect. Sleeping: Hotel de la Paix. Meals: (B) and (L).
Day 13: More Angkor. A second day will be spent exploring more temples that make up the huge Angkor area with Nick. Make sure you bring plenty of camera storage space. Tonight is yours to relax and reflect. Sleeping: Hotel de la Paix. Meals: (B) and (L).
Day 14: Your day. A local guide will be at your beck and call to make arrangements for whatever you want to do: explore Angkor further, visit Tonle Sap Lake, take a cooking course, go for a bike ride, visit the spa, or relax, it’s up to you! Tonight enjoy your final dinner in Cambodia at a venue of your choice. Sleeping: Hotel de la Paix. Meals: (B).
Day 15: Back to reality. We’ll catch an 11:00 am flight back to bustling Bangkok and our storied journey will be complete. We'll be filled with memories and knowledge to last a lifetime. Meals: (B).
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